Around the world, clothing sales have plummeted since mid-March, when shops closed their doors to slow the spread of COVID-19 and “slob-chic” became the order of the day. According to one estimate published in early August, US apparel sales could shrink by as much as 50 percent in 2020.
There was one odd, notable exception: a frilly, glittery, hyperfeminine, wholly impractical pink dress, printed all over with red strawberries, that became “a viral sensation,” according to Glamour reporter Adrienne Matei, with sales spiking 1,000 percent between late July and mid-August. Created by a 24-year-old designer from Kosovo with the lyrical name Lirika Matoshi, “the strawberry dress,” as it became known, costs $490 and has inspired TikTok tributes, anime fan art, and, inevitably, cheap knockoffs on Amazon and Etsy. The dress is “a bright spot in a dark year,” Matei writes: a perfect representation of “one of 2020’s most popular trends: the ‘cottagecore’ aesthetic, a sweetly pastoral paean to the countryside popularized by the internet’s young romantics.”
Strawberry-print midi dress by Lirika Matoshi.